The purpose of this study was to test the effects of goal proximity and achievement motivation on basketball shooting performance in a regular physical education class setting. Data were collected on 79 male Grade 10 students. One week prior to the beginning of a 4-week basketball unit, students were categorized as high achievers and low achievers based on their achievement score on the Howe Sport Behavior Assessment Scale. Within each achievement group, subjects were randomly assigned to either a weekly short-term goal group, a long-term goal group, or a short-term-plus-longterm goal group. Subjects completed the Speed Spot Shooting Test once every week to measure their performance in relation to their assigned goals. No significant differences among the variables were revealed. A postexperimental questionnaire revealed that a majority of students from all goal conditions were setting their own short-term goals. Results are discussed in terms of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory of motivation and the use of goals in motor skill tasks in physical education.
B. Howe is with the School of Physical Education at the University of Victoria, PO Box 1700, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 2Y2. R. Poole is with Harry Ainlay High School, Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6J 1E8.